Archive for Friday, February 13, 2009

Kansas in line for $350 million for highways

February 13, 2009, 2:35 p.m. Updated February 13, 2009, 2:54 p.m.


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Kansas is in line to get about $350 million from the federal government to spend on highway construction projects in the coming months to produce jobs, generate economic development and boost services, state officials said Friday.

The incoming funds would go along with another $27 million in federal stimulus money dedicated for transit projects in the state, they said. Of the transit total, $1.9 million would be set aside for the city of Lawrence.

Just last week, the city unveiled a list of potential transit projects that included $1.5 million for replacing five buses, $500,000 for installing new bus shelters and up to $3 million for creating bus “cut outs” on city streets.

“I think it’s going to do a lot for our system, and the economy,” said Casey Toomay, the city’s interim transit administrator.

Decisions about exactly which Lawrence projects should be financed and when likely will be settled in the coming weeks, as details emerge about program requirements, deadlines and eligibility standards.

State officials aren’t wasting any time, either.

By the end of next week, the Kansas Department of Transportation hopes to announce which of its dozens of eligible projects will share in $280 million of stimulus money. Department officials, in consultations with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, will be culling a list of $1.3 billion worth of available projects, a list that includes two projects with Douglas County potential:

l $10 million to build an interchange at the South Lawrence Trafficway and Bob Billings Parkway in Lawrence.

l $100 million to add two lanes to six miles of Kansas Highway 10 east of Lawrence, either in Douglas or Johnson counties.

“We all need to hit the ground running,” said Jerry Younger, an assistant secretary of transportation in Topeka. “We need to get things chugging along pretty quick.”

The money is part of the compromise $787 billion federal economic stimulus bill that was approved Friday by the U.S. House of Representatives, then a few hours later by the Senate.

President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law within the next few days.

Of the $350 million headed to Kansas for highway spending, an estimated 20 percent — or nearly $70 million — would be designated for use in communities. The Kansas City metro area would receive $22 million; the Wichita area would receive $16 million; and all other Kansas communities would share about $30 million.

All federal stimulus money for transportation must be spent within a year.

Deb Miller, the state’s transportation secretary, said that her department likely would set a deadline of Nov. 1 for local projects to be selected and under way.

That way, she said, any chosen projects facing insurmountable obstacles could be pushed aside, making way for other projects to get going before the federal deadline passed.

“We want to be sure the state spends every single dollar” available, Miller said.


ENGWOOD 9 years, 3 months ago

Typical most of the dollars for Douglas County and NE Kansas.

Shardwurm 9 years, 3 months ago

Sweet...nothing like employing illegals to build our roads. That'll help the economy for sure!

KS 9 years, 3 months ago

Not one US Rep read this bill before voting on it and that includes numbn-t Dennis Moore. How can the LJW be an expert on this when the bill, all 11,000 pages of it are not even out yet? We were told by BO that he would not sign any bill that had pork in it and his Presidency would be transparent. I knew the guy was a liar, but I didn't think it was going to start so soon. These folks are making Jimmy Carter look good.

KS 9 years, 3 months ago

logrithmic - And just what do you think the deficit will be after BO signs that thing next week? I blame the Dems in congress more than BO. As far as Bush is concerned, he kept your sorry a** safe for 7 years. I doubt that will happen again under this surrender-in-chief.

TacoBob 9 years, 3 months ago

Argument: There was bad policy before, so that justifies bad policy now. Brilliant logic.

KS 9 years, 3 months ago

log - You have a lot of hate spewing forth this morning. Go back under your rock. Why don't you get off your dead a** and run for office if you think you can do something better? What a crock!

jayhawklawrence 9 years, 3 months ago

This investment became necessary because of inept policies of both the Democrats and Republicans that led to this problem. The current dialogue is just more of the same childishness and does not get the root of the problem. This investment is our only viable tool left to us other than allowing sky rocketing unemployment and another Great Depression.

We need a government that realizes that we need to compete in a world market by having a strong manufacturing base. But most legislators are locked into two political groups that are almost useless at addressing the current needs of our country.

Other countries are finding ways to protect their manufacturing base. Why can't we?

No one pushes harder for Free Trade than the United States yet we do very little to help our own companies remain competitive. (What about the Boeing military contracts John McCain!) What a dumbo when it comes to making the US stronger.

The US brought about the current world wide recession and don't think other countries have not lost faith in our system. Now is the time to get smart and start competing, not lip syncing like the dumb tax cut zombie Republicans. ANd not shaving off freebies like the inept Democrats.

There are Republican Senators who are still trying to blame Jimmy Carter for the housing crisis. They should be tarred and feathered. And who votes for these idiots?

President Obama is asking the right questions, but he is working with a loony bin to get anything done.

There have got to be limits to global free trade. There has to be accountibility. Companies that transfer technology, tooling, fixtures and jobs overseas should not be rewarded. Walmart should be carrying more American made products than they do.

This game has been the playground for wall street and manufacturers in the US have been taking it up the rear for too long.

The lack of support our young President is getting is inexcusable!

jayhawklawrence 9 years, 3 months ago

I don't understand the need to spend $3 million for round outs for Buses. I am perfectly will to wait or go around.

Unless I am missing something, this is wasteful spending.

Find something we really need, not what we can do without.

You you spend inefficiently, you get __. Exactly.

womanwarrior 9 years, 3 months ago

Can't they use some of it to resurface residential roads? I refuse to mow my street this year.

jayhawklawrence 9 years, 3 months ago

There is no need for another 2 lanes on K10. This is also wasteful spending.

This kind of wasteful spending will make a lot of Americans really mad.

This is a STRONG need to finish the South Lawrence Trafficway. That is something I believe has been needed.

Godot 9 years, 3 months ago

Logrithmic has it mostly right. The Geithner plan is to have the Federal Reserve make non-recourse loans to selected private investors (hedge funds) so that they will purchase the toxic MBS from the banks at 85% of their book value to get the loans off the banks' books and to infuse more cash into the banks.

Problem is, many of those MBS are worth as little as 20% of their value, some are worth 0%. If, by some miracle, the MBS do not end up in default, the hedge fund wins big. If, as is expected, the MBS fail, the hedge funds still win, because the loans they got from the Federal Reserve are "non-recourse." That means that the hedge funds just turn the toxic MBS over to the Federal Reserve, and walk away. Who is left holding the bag? The taxpayers. Geithner, Bernanke and their boss, Obama, are putting potentially trillions and trillions of dollars of losses on the backs of taxpayers, while letting the banksters and hedge fund thieves make out like, well, bandits.

Word is that some of the laid off and/or fired banksters are setting up hedge funds and collecting money from investors just to get in on this taxpayer swindle.

This is actually unconstitutional. It is reason to impeach Obama. He does not have the authority to appropriate the funds for this, and the Fed does not have the authority to make loans without collateral. Impeachable. Unconsitutional.

The Congress and Senate are clearly so corrupt and beholden to the Banksters and Hedge Funds, they cannot be expected to do their constitutional duty to reign in an Executive branch that is out of control. It appears to me that the only entity that could put a stop to this would be the Supreme Court.

Why is the ACLU absent on this issue?

gl0ck0wn3r 9 years, 3 months ago

"Just last week, the city unveiled a list of potential transit projects that included $1.5 million for replacing five buses, $500,000 for installing new bus shelters and up to $3 million for creating bus “cut outs” on city streets."

What a fantastic waste of money. Yay! Lawrence certainly needs more cut outs where the T buses can idle waiting for a passenger.

gsxr600 9 years, 3 months ago

$5 million for transit? How will this create new jobs and really improve infrastructure? How about that $5 mil go to repaving Lawrence roads? They're terrible, especially in the neighborhoods.

Godot 9 years, 3 months ago

This money can only be spent on projects where all work is done by union workers. Executive order by Obama.

How many construction contractors in the area are union shops?

Godot 9 years, 3 months ago

None of the materials used can be imported.

Are the buses made in the US? How about those bus stop shelters? What about all that steel?

Godot 9 years, 3 months ago

The banksters are one part of the Oligarchy for which Obama is the puppet. The Union mafia is the other master.

Godot 9 years, 3 months ago

Nope, Hawk, last I checked, neither the city nor Kennedy Glass are unionized.

womanwarrior 9 years, 3 months ago

Too bad the city can't use it to make some kind of suit against First Management who are trying to buy up all of downtown and let it run down from neglect. Please vote for anyone who is not in the back pockets of this corrupt disgusting company. Why haven't they been cited by the city? Have you seen the building next to CapFed? I'm a woman, and I have a bigger set of balls than all of our commission. We have our own corrupt corporation.

Centerville 9 years, 3 months ago

$5 million for the emp-T. That would be a perfect tribute to this Democrat travesty.

gl0ck0wn3r 9 years, 3 months ago

"Centerville (Anonymous) says… $5 million for the emp-T. That would be a perfect tribute to this Democrat travesty."

Rename it the People's Heckler Express.

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